Thousands of Buddhist monks and pro-democracy activists marched Wednesday in Yangon in defiance of the military government's new ban on assembly, after police tried to disperse protesters at a key landmark with warning shots.
The junta had banned all public gatherings of more than five people and imposed a nighttime curfew following eight days of anti-government marches led by monks in Yangon and other areas of the country, including the biggest protests in nearly two decades.
The march toward the center of Yangon followed a tense confrontation at the city's famed Shwedagon Pagoda between the protesters and riot police who fired warning shots into the air, beat some monks and dragged others away into waiting trucks.
About 3,000 monks and 4,000 students along with members of the party headed by detained opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi set off from Shwedagon to the Sule Pagoda in the heart of Myanmar's largest city where dozens of riot police and soldiers were waiting.
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